Feel 20 Years Younger!

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The key to feeling youthful is feeling energetic! And, the road to vitality can be fun, effortless, and best of all….almost instantaneous! 

Someone shared a quote with me that I love, and it’s based on something Marlene Dietrich once said, “PLASTIC SURGERY can take 20 years off your face — but you still can’t fool a long flight of stairs!!!!”

It’s so true…looking young isn’t the same thing as feeling young. We live in a culture that celebrates youthfulness, and holds youth up as a model for style, dress, music, attitude….and there’s nothing wrong with that! I have two daughters, and every day, they remind me that youth is a wonderful state of mind, body and spirit.

But in reality, the latest U.S. Census said that there are 150 million adults over the age of 50. A few months ago, I turned 63, and honestly…I’ve never felt better in my entire life! Every day, I feel at least 20 years younger than I actually am.

In fact, I was shocked when I heard that 88% of older adults indicate that they aren’t satisfied with their energy levels. And according to Colin Milner, the founder of the International Council of Active Aging, a major concern for people over 50 is not having enough energy to age on their own terms. I like to think of this as the personal energy crisis.

So how do you get the type of energy to live life on your own terms? Here are 3 very simple steps that you can take immediately to start building your energy:

1. Movement throughout the day

Ageless with Kathy Smith Staying Strong Cover ShotFirst of all, I’d like to re-frame your definition of fitness. With all the infomercials out there, and everybody talking about fitness, people start to tell themselves, “I’m going to run a 5k,” or, “I’m going to run a 10k” or even, “I’m going to run a marathon.” There’s this idea out there that you have to be extreme, and you have to be lean.

But the fitness I believe in is simply moving your body. This can mean moving your body in a lot of different ways. My own passion for fitness has little to do with thinner thighs, a tighter tummy, and sculpted arms. What’s kept me in the game for all these years is that I realize the larger impact between moving your body and how you feel. The joy and love of moving your body has the power to keep you fit for life.

So here’s my definition of fitness, “Being fit is the stat in which your body supports the kind of lifestyle that give your life meaning and purpose.” That definition is very unique for everybody! For one person, it may mean going to Disneyland and keeping up with their grandkids for four days. For somebody else, being fit may mean traveling to Paris, walking all day long and taking in the sights. For somebody else, being fit may mean taking up something new, like a tai chi class.

This brings me to my energy mantra… “When you move, you’ll have more energy, and having energy will make you want to move!” Remember that when it comes to daily movement, you don’t need a gym or fancy equipment to stay active.

One way to work activity into your life is to have equipment underneath your bed or desk. Nothing fancy…nothing big, nothing too expensive…just a few pieces of equipment like some hand weights, resistance tube, a mat and a ball. When you have an area of your home dedicated to some small pieces of fitness equipment that are on display, you have a constant reminder that they’re right there, ready to go. And that makes it even easier for YOU to be ready to go, too.

If you sit at a desk for hours on end, try these 5 Desk-ercises to do at work.

2. Functional fitness

I want to introduce my favorite type of fitness….functional training! So what is it? It’s fitness that helps you function the way that you move in everyday life. This means being able to pick up a bag, a dog, or a grandchild. It means being able to walk into the grocery store and put them in your trunk. But honestly, how many times in your everyday life do you have to get on the floor and do crunches? Never! However, you may have to pick up a potted plant and move it to the other side of the room. Functional fitness is a way of training your body in the same way you use your body throughout the day.

Start with a simple squat. A squat is a functional movement, because when you get in and out of a chair, or the car, you’re doing a squatting motion!

Here’s how to train your body to do a squat:

  • Take a chair, and stand in front of it about 6 inches. To train your glutes, hamstrings and core, just sit down in the chair. If you need to, use your hands to pick you back up again.
  • Eventually, stop using your hands! Now, you’re using your quads to lift you.
  • And finally (and this is the good part), don’t sit down! Skim you rear on the chair, but don’t sit down! If you’re feeling even more advanced, add a little hop to the end instead of just standing up!

This simple squat is training you so that you are strong enough to participate all of those activities you want in life, like those in my Functionally Fit Peak Fat Burning Workout (find it in the 20 Years Younger kit). Here’s a sneak peek:


3. Walking

Walking is my no-excuse workout to solve your personal energy crisis! Waking is a perfect workout, because it incorporates strength, balance, engaging your core, and best of all, breathing! And, it requires very little effort! All you need is your feet and your brain.

So why the brain? The brain is the motivational muscle that gets you up in the morning and out the door. And by the way, your brain is also the biggest beneficiary from the walk, along with your heart, lungs, joints, muscles and circulation….it all comes together on a walk. It’s the best way to increase your vitality, and energy, and best of all, it also increases your inner strength.

Endurance and stamina, through aerobics, are the key elements that keep you going throughout the day. Want to turn your walk into a workout? Click here learn how.

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